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Social Justice, Human Rights, and Being Vegan

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Social Justice, Human Rights, and Being Vegan

By Gary Francione, Abolitionist Approach
August 2013

Non-vegans frequently point to the admittedly terrible condition of the world and ask vegans: what about important issues of social justice involving humans?; why aren’t you doing more to address those issues?

I have four responses:

First, there is no conflict here. Being vegan does not require that you stop doing any other good work you do on any other social justice issue. Being vegan just requires that while you are doing that good work, you don’t eat, wear, or use animal products.

Second, 99% of the people who ask these questions aren’t doing anything about the other issues except asking vegans why they are not doing something about them instead of promoting veganism.

Third, veganism–at least as I discuss it–is about nonviolence and violence is what is at the root of all of the other social justice problems.

Fourth, animal agriculture is causing a great deal of human suffering and is exacerbating social injustice.

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If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.